in·​ter·​est·​ing | \ ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stiŋ How to pronounce interesting (audio) ; ˈin-tə-ˌre-, ˈin-ˌtre-; ˈin-tər- How to pronounce interesting (audio) \

Definition of interesting

: holding the attention : arousing interest

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from interesting

interestingness noun

The Pronunciation and History of Interesting

There are a number of ways to say interesting. It can have three syllables or four; it can have an accent only on the first syllable, or it can also have a secondary accent on the "res"; the first "e" can get ignored, resulting in a second syllable of "tres" rhyming with dress; or the second "e" can be ignored, resulting in a syllable that sounds like terse. All of these various pronunciations are well-established and occur in the speech of educated, native speakers of English.

The word interesting originally meant "of concern"; it was a synonym of important. It comes from the verb interest, which in its original use meant "to induce or persuade to participate or engage." If you were interested in something, you were not willing to be a bystander; you felt the need to participate or engage.

Examples of interesting in a Sentence

This is one of the most interesting books I've read all year. It will be interesting to see how she decides to spend the money. This building has an interesting history. I don't find politics very interesting. I found it interesting to learn that she had once lived in California. Most of what he said wasn't interesting to me.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Among those who will be at the affiliates, here’s the most interesting position group at each spot in the Orioles’ minor league ladder. Jon Meoli,, "Breaking down the four most exciting position groups from the Orioles’ preliminary minor league rosters," 1 May 2021 All those models are interesting, Ferguson tells us, but no one animal rules the roost. Washington Post, "How our social networks drive disasters, from financial panics to the coronavirus," 30 Apr. 2021 The Jets have their quarterback in Zach Wilson and an interesting group of receivers. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Who will Andrew Berry and the Browns take with their first 2 picks? 2021 NFL mock draft 8.0," 29 Apr. 2021 Scientifically, the answers to all these questions are interesting. Steve Vassallo, Forbes, "Missionary Misfits: Solving Inevitable Problems," 28 Apr. 2021 That part is interesting, yet what starts as a cool cosmic mystery thriller, unfortunately, turns into a sci-fi drama both confusing and pedestrian. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this Oscars weekend: HBO Max's 'Mortal Kombat,' Netflix's 'Stowaway'," 23 Apr. 2021 MaskotGetty Images Figuring out how to dress for work over the past year has been...interesting. Leah Melby Clinton, Marie Claire, "Confused About How to Dress For Work These Days? Let Amazon Handle It.," 19 Apr. 2021 Released on April 20 back in 1991, the original Super Robot Wars was an interesting experiment on the part of Banpresto. Ollie Barder, Forbes, "‘Super Robot Wars’ Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary," 20 Apr. 2021 The prosecutors did a few things that were interesting. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "The Significance of the Derek Chauvin Verdict," 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interesting.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of interesting

1768, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about interesting

Time Traveler for interesting

Time Traveler

The first known use of interesting was in 1768

See more words from the same year

Statistics for interesting

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Interesting.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for interesting



English Language Learners Definition of interesting

: attracting your attention and making you want to learn more about something or to be involved in something : not dull or boring


in·​ter·​est·​ing | \ ˈin-trə-stiŋ How to pronounce interesting (audio) , ˈin-tə-rə- \

Kids Definition of interesting

: holding the attention : not dull or boring an interesting story

Other Words from interesting

interestingly adverb

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on interesting

What made you want to look up interesting? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!